Cydonian Monk

Forgotten Space Program

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waterlubber    362
1 hour ago, Sanic said:

@Cydonian Monk Have you considered installing OPM?f Don'tDon'tDon'DonDo

 

 

I tried to reply with "don't forget Distant Object enhancement. i did not fix this post. I though the stuttering forum software was funny enough to keep. Cydonian, have you heard of a game called Duskers? It reminds me a lot of this.

 

 

 

 

 

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Cydonian Monk    3535
5 hours ago, Sanic said:

@Cydonian Monk Have you considered installing OPM?

I have, and it's nicely done, but as I rarely ever get beyond the orbit of Duna I doubt I'd get much use from it. Maybe later.

 

4 hours ago, waterlubber said:

I tried to reply with "don't forget Distant Object enhancement. i did not fix this post. I though the stuttering forum software was funny enough to keep. Cydonian, have you heard of a game called Duskers? It reminds me a lot of this.

Yeah, our forum software is a bit wacko at times. 

Distant Object Enhancement is already installed, and is one of my "must have" mods. To the point where I often recompile it early when new versions of KSP are released. (Though the changes coming with 1.1 may preclude that.) Not sure if the OPM planets are set up for it by default, but should I install that I'd make sure the configs are there.

Can't say I've heard of Duskers before, though something at the back of my mind is saying Scott Manley reviewed it at some point so I probably really have and just forgot it. Looks interesting. 

Edited by Cydonian Monk

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12 hours ago, waterlubber said:

You should use the Tarsier telescopes to "discover" things in orbits of other planets, would be neat

Can Tarsier telescopes see things in orbits

 

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Cydonian Monk    3535
6 hours ago, The space freak said:

Can Tarsier telescopes see things in orbits

 

Distant Object Enhancement will render ships up to a certain distance, and show them as points of light beyond that. Not sure if TST has anything built separate, suspect not. I'll give it a test this weekend. 

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Cydonian Monk    3535

It was an otherwise ordinary morning. Koffee was brewing in the break room; snacks and pastries were lined up, ready for the grubbing. The Boss had walked to the conference room, where a day full of long, boring, grown-up-world meetings were scheduled. Wernher was running through the halls screaming about some piece of kit he'd just "invented". The interns had blown up a corner of the VAB. Just a regular day at the space center. 

At least it _was_ just a regular day until Mortimer, the agency's accountant, started ranting about some conspiracy theory regarding the upcoming launch. A new habitat module was being sent up to Baile Speir along with a Carbon Dioxide scrubber and a Water Purifier. It was the water purifier that had set him off.

"Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous plot we have ever had to face! They're diluting our bodily essences! Think of the children!!"

His ranting soon turned to quick, threatening movements and absolute screaming, the most agitated anyone could recall of Mortimer. The manic ravings became a chaotic chase when two "caretakers" showed up with a straight jacket. They eventually corralled the elder bookkeep in the corner of the VAB, grabbed just minutes before he hurled a Hydrogen canister at the payload for the upcoming launch. 

It was suggested Sieta's insanity might be contagious. Quarantines were openly considered. The Boss just shrugged it off and told them to accelerate the timetable for the launch. 

--

 

Fluorine 1

The agency's first official space station had started when the Carbon 5 and Carbon 6 docked for the second time. (Or so say the World's Firsters.) Both had subsequently reentered, so technically the Fluorine 1 would be the second such station. Originally designed to compliment the Lab Module of Kelgee Station, this craft would instead serve to complete the USI contract for expanding Baile Speir. Capable of housing four kerbals, the station also included recyclers for water and air, and tanks for waste products waiting to be purified. 

20151227_ksp0049_bailespeir.jpg

Only slightly more massive than the Oxygen supply craft, the Fluorine module was still within the capabilities of the LV-04 Sonata launch vehicle. 

20151227_ksp0005_f1.jpg

20151227_ksp0013_f1.jpg

Another perfect launch, another quick rendezvous. The Fluorine 1 arrived at the station in less than one orbit, and was quickly making its way to the only open docking port at the station. And that's when Verly noticed the problem. 

20151227_ksp0028_f1.jpg

"The wrong end is facing the station."

"Say again, Baile Speir?"

"The wrong end of the Fluorine module is facing the station. The air and water scrubbers need to be away from the hard dock so that crews can get into the crew compartments."

In all the bustle of the morning's chase, it would seem crews accidentally installed the payload _upside down_ on the LV-04. Ooooops. 

No problem, as it would just require a few extra steps to install. After docking, the Fluorine 1's orbital stage was  decoupled and deorbited. Verly then piloted her Nitrogen craft and docked to the Fluorine module, pulled it away from the station. She then remote piloted the Oxygen 1, which docked to the other end of the Fluorine. 

20151227_ksp0036_bailespeir.jpg

[And that's when the game wigged out. Something I've only ever seen occur when The Claw was in play - the controls for the station were linked to the controls for the Fluorine + Oxygen pair. Attempts to rotate one would rotate both, making docking impossible. Eventually I found the cause to be Persistent Rotation, though I'm not sure why. I removed the dll, finished to docking, and put it back.]

20151227_ksp0039_bailespeir.jpg

Following some issues with the Oxygen's flight computer, Verly moved both it and the Fluorine module back into position, now properly oriented. She then redocked her Nitrogen craft and went to set up the new hab module. 

20151227_ksp0046_bailespeir.jpg

Upgrade complete! Contract complete! 

20151227_ksp0031_bailespeir.jpg

Yet without a science lab, the station was still not very useful. The main computer had been destroyed by decades of hard radiation, and the various printed documents provided little insight into the station beyond simple operations. If they wanted to research these stations, they'd need to go back to Kelgee or find another. 

They might be in luck. 

 

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Edited by Cydonian Monk

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Geschosskopf    4260

Ah, Persistent Rotation.  I've had a number of frustrations with it too.  Good job dealing with the wrong-way module ;).

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Cydonian Monk    3535
17 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

Ah, Persistent Rotation.  I've had a number of frustrations with it too.  Good job dealing with the wrong-way module ;).

Thanks. 

I'm not entirely certain Persistent Rotation is the root cause of that issue (because of how it tracks angular momentum by vessel ID), but it was certainly the one making it tough to dock. Baile Speir is old enough and has been through enough conversions that there's undoubtedly some values not set right.  (Built in 0.20.2, ~15 versions ago, though I didn't load the save in any 1.0 prior to 1.0.4.)

There's also a very slim chance I messed up a UID or some bit of ephermis. When I bulk-converted all the old saves, I used a regex replace in vim to add the relevant number of seconds to each flight's start time (based on the total elapsed time of the previous save). That required a two-step conversion, the second step of which _might_ have pulled a number from some random field and borked it a bit. Doubtful though, as that'd likely prevent the save from loading.

Next I've gotta sit down and see if I can hack Kelgee Station to get rid of its docking port ghosts. That's an old old bug caused by a very broken old version of Module Manager and an equally broken old KSP.

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This.Series.Is.Awesome

Look at that, 4 words. 4 words describe this whole series.

And as if those 4 words weren't enough, this series inspired me enough to start going on interplanetary missions even though you haven't gone on any interplanetary missions yet XD, it's just that inspiring. You have my total support.

Also, Happy New Year to you and everyone else here!:wink:

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waterlubber    362

 

20 hours ago, Cydonian Monk said:

There's also a very slim chance I messed up a UID or some bit of ephermis. When I bulk-converted all the old saves, I used a regex replace in vim to add the relevant number of seconds to each flight's start time (based on the total elapsed time of the previous save). That required a two-step conversion, the second step of which _might_ have pulled a number from some random field and borked it a bit. Doubtful though, as that'd likely prevent the save from loading.

 

Holy cow, man, that is some crazy regex golf you played there. The biggest extent I ever did in regex was a couple of statements to convert the output from dpkg -l to something that dpkg --set_selections would read, because for whatever reason they were different. Ended up removing like 6 columns and adding installs to the end of it, ha.

How is Linux working out for you? 

Probably well considering you've been using it long enough to know regex that well, ha

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Cydonian Monk    3535
3 hours ago, Greenhornet553 said:

This.Series.Is.Awesome

Look at that, 4 words. 4 words describe this whole series.

 

Thanks! There'll likely be some interplanetary stuff coming early in the New Year. Need to build out the communications network first.

 

45 minutes ago, waterlubber said:

 

Holy cow, man, that is some crazy regex golf you played there. ...

How is Linux working out for you? 

Probably well considering you've been using it long enough to know regex that well, ha

I've been using Linux both personally and professionally since 1997, along with regular UNIXes of various stripes, so it's working out nicely. ;) That particular "regex golf" was done through vim on my MacBook in OS-X.... I've all but stopped using Linux as a desktop OS as The Year of the Linux Desktop is never coming, but I'll hapilly keep using it for embedded devices and servers. (And on my old netbook, which still kinda has a working build of Gentoo and X.org/Gnome 2.x on it.)

Edited by Cydonian Monk

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waterlubber    362
9 minutes ago, Cydonian Monk said:

 

Thanks! There'll likely be some interplanetary stuff coming early in the New Year. Need to build out the communications network first.

 

I've been using Linux both personally and professionally since 1997, along with regular UNIXes of various stripes, so it's working out nicely. ;) That particular "regex golf" was done through vim on my MacBook in OS-X.... I've all but stopped using Linux as a desktop OS as The Year of the Linux Desktop is never coming, but I'll hapilly keep using it for embedded devices and servers. (And on my old netbook, which still kinda has a working build of Gentoo and X.org/Gnome 2.x on it.)

Why Mac over Linux? Curious, I use Debian on my desktop, but it has similar incompatibilities as with Mac.

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Cydonian Monk    3535
2 minutes ago, waterlubber said:

Why Mac over Linux? Curious, I use Debian on my desktop, but it has similar incompatibilities as with Mac.

It came down to application support, my chosen Linux distro being in meltdown mode, and cross-device integration (the ecosystem). While I could find Linux equivalents for most of what I wanted to do, there wasn't (and still isn't) a good equivalent for photography tools like Lightroom (excluding the cloud-based version which didn't exist and still isn't something I can use). And many mainstream software products support Mac and Windows, but not Linux. (ex: Rosetta Stone.) I gave up on Windows entirely in 2003, and had little desire to go back (though I have for games alone). OS-X, as a true UNIX, was something I understood and something maleable.

Ultimately it was MobileMe and the first iPad that sealed it, as finally the vision outlined in "The Mother of All Demos" was a reality - all of my data could be easilly accessed from any device, and any device could stream to any other. To this day I still use my 2nd-gen Apple TV as an occasional second display or for streaming from apps. Less frequently I use the iPad as a portable display, having remotely played games like KSP, Civilization V, and Dwarf Fortress while lounging on the patio. 

That, and I was tired of 'emerge --world -NDup' breaking everything on my desktop. ;)

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waterlubber    362

If you do high-power work a hackintosh would ne something neat to have, since Macs (especially high end ones) are pretty expensive. Never liked OSX, I figured out i3 faster.

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Cydonian Monk    3535

Happy New Year! Let's shake off last night's headaches and get back into the action....


The Six Moons of Kerbin
(and that Milbas thing....)

Lore has it that Kerbin once had only one moon: The Mün. That was certainly the case when Thomlock left the surface on his 95-year trek. Shortly after his ascent into interplanetary space a second moon was captured: the oft-misunderstood Minmus. And so Kerbin remained for many decades: a planet with two moons.

20151217_sixmoons.png

"So why are there now seven?"

"Six."

Thomlock ran his finger down the list one last time, naming them as he went. "Minmus, Thomlock, Mün, Orange Julius, Milbas, Nelsey, Billy Bob's Cajun Spice Shack in the Sky. That's seven."

"Six. Milbas doesn't count, and we just call that last one 'The Spice Moon.' Way shorter."

He scratched at the back of his head, confused by the soft grey hairs that had replaced his once luxurious mane. More confused by this strange 'engineer' that was standing next to him. Macfred. What an odd name.... "Ok, so why doesn't Milbas count? And why is one of them named after me?" 

"Because you're dead. And famous. And famously dead. That moon showed up sometime after you were shot into space, so maybe somebody decided it must be you. Or your ship. Truth is I don't know. Nobody knows because nobody remembers anything about the old times. But everybody remembers you. Thomlock Kerman. Launched into space atop a box of exploding oranges and three cans of boom!"

"So I guess Nelsey didn't make it."

"Yeah, bummer about him. No clue what happened, but it must've been bad if they named a moon after him."

"So, Milbas then?"

"We don't like to talk about Milbas. For years and years people kept confusing Milbas with Dres. Tiny speck in the sky, nothing to write home about. So they demoted it from 'moon' to 'moonoid.' Nobody likes to say moonoid though, so we just call it a rock. Same thing almost happened with the Orange Moon, people kept mistaking it for Duna. Pretty easy to do since it's in a polar orbit and isn't orange."

"Then why's it called the Orange Moon?"

"Corporate sponsorship."

"Ah." Thomlock slipped the laminated list of moons back into the gift shop's rack of printed ephemera. The look he got from the shopkeep, a look that said 'this ain't a library ya cheap so-n-so,' almost made him pull it back out and buy it. Yet he was the famously dead Thomlock so he just brushed it off and followed Macfred towards the exit. "What has this got to do with me anyway?"

The shopkeep moved to intercept them and Thomlock instinctively reached for his wallet. Then he recognized who the merchant was. "The two of you are going to visit these six moons. That's what it has to do with you." Gene Kerman, Flight Director and part-time shopkeeper at the KSC gift shop. "And soon."

--

 

Nitrogen T-4

By 'soon' Gene meant 'in the next 20 minutes.' The technicians had Macfred and Thomlock suited up and ready to fly before they'd even left the gift shop. (Turns out the souvenir flight suits are identical to those worn by the crews.) The trip out to the pad still took an hour, but there were rumours that somebody was working on a tower to help alleviate such headaches.

The T-class Nitrogen they were crammed into was more than capable of reaching the Spice Moon, which was in a clean 200km orbit. Though still limited to 32-bit, NT-4 did allow for multitasking by crew members and used the new shell developed way back in 95. And it included double the snacks for double the crew. Wernher had also asked them to check out "Thing A" up close on their return.

20151229_ksp0052_nt4.jpg

Macfred was just happy to be in space again.

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The second stage was nearly enough to drop them into their target orbit, and it cut out just moments before the launch script was going to end. Thomlock balked at the thought of letting a computer control their launch, but as he was apparently the only "pilot" in the agency he guessed it must be a good thing. 

20151229_ksp0057_nt4.jpg

The Spice Moon, or "Billy Bob's Cajun Spice Shack in the Sky," turned out to be something of a curiosity. While nobody in the Kerbal Astronomical Society seriously considered the captured asteroid to be a "Moon", the press and the populace had been misled for long enough that there was no point in fighting. So everyone just called it a moon. Not that anyone remembered its capture. 

The double set of claws with docking ports were a dead giveaway though.

20151229_ksp0066_nt4.jpg

Once their speeds were matched and the N-T4 was in a safe station-keeping position, Macfred jumped out of the orbital module and went for a short walk. No way to tell if anyone had ever set foot on this moon, but he aimed to be the first. "First kerbal on the Cajun Spice Shack in the Sky." (Though he guessed this Billy-Bob character might have been the actual first, whoever that was.)

20151229_ksp0069_nt4.jpg

20151229_ksp0071_nt4.jpg

The rock and dirt samples he grabbed helped their understanding of materials science advance tremendously. He resisted the urge to "beam down" the samples using the radio and instead kept them tucked safely inside the sample containers of the N-T4's descent module.

The two spacekerbs floated there in their tin can, not far above the moon, and witnessed one of the weirdest eclipses to ever be seen by a kerbals. (The Spice Moon, while large as far as asteroids go, was not large enough to cause an eclipse on the ground. Doubly so with its fast orbit.)

20151229_ksp0077_nt4.jpg

Astrological Event over, the two kerbals backed away from the Spice Moon and made their way into a lower orbit. Time to go visit "Thing A" with the hopes of unlocking some of its secrets.

20151229_ksp0079_nt4.jpg

--


Thing A

20151229_ksp0084_nt4.jpg

"I don't think The Boss is right about this." Thomlock kicked the ship around to shine their spotlight on a new spot on the hull. They had been passing their meagre lights over the hull of the station for the last ten minutes, having arrived during the dead of night.

"How so?"

"Well, I don't think it's some simple refueling station. The docking arms are too close together for that. No, I think it's a shipyard of some sort."

"A shipyard? What's the point though? It's kinda tiny inside here."

"C'mon kid, think outside the triangle. Literally. The ship isn't built inside the superstructure, it's built _around_ it."

"Oh." The gears were visibly turning in Macfred's head as the immense size of Thing A set in. And then the sun slipped over the limb of Kerbin. "Oh my." Macfred unstrapped from his seat and moved into the orbital module. "If you're right, then any beast born here would be huge."

"Very. And most likely cylindrical, allowing its crews to walk inside instead of floating around, like us."

"Hey, aren't you just a pilot? Where'd you get ideas like this?"

"Where I'm from kid all kerbals are pilots. And scientists. And engineers. And everything in between." And unlucky, it would seem. Four of the first six confirmed lost, and he himself stranded in space for nearly a century. "A kerbal's choice of work and life wasn't limited like it is today."

Macfred had finished suiting up. "I'm going over to check it out. Maybe there's still something of interest inside."

20151229_ksp0093_nt4.jpg

Unfortunately the inside of Thing A proved to be just as mysterious as the outside. There was nothing in the way of a central computer, little in the way of printed material, and only a few hints as to what was where. In the end Macfred just grabbed a few scraps of paper and made his way back over to the N-T4.

20151229_ksp0098_nt4.jpg

Not wanting to repeat the mistakes made by Sieta, Thomlock moved the ship into a 71km circular orbit before attempting the reentry burn. Reentry from Thing A's orbit was within the T-series's design parameters, but the elder kerbal was the senior member of the flight crew and decided caution was always better than a flaming death.

The Nitrogen's service and orbital modules were split off just as they slipped out of the intense night of Kerbin's shadow, and they landed safely in the badlands of the Central Continent. 

20151229_ksp0105_nt4.jpg

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Another successful flight complete! While there was no award granted for "first multi-kerbal crew," everybody back at the space center chipped in and bought a huge party platter. Macfred and Thomlock snacked well into the night and the next day.

 

Navigation: Next Page

Edited by Cydonian Monk

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Cydonian Monk    3535
14 hours ago, waterlubber said:

If you do high-power work a hackintosh would ne something neat to have, since Macs (especially high end ones) are pretty expensive. Never liked OSX, I figured out i3 faster.

The Very-High-End ones are expensive, but price-wise they're generally competitive with their non-Apple equivalents. I remember spec-ing out a PC with a 5k display and other equivalent components to one of the Retina iMacs and found the Apple one was cheaper than building on your own if you stuck with the lowest-end options of the parts that are user-upgradeable. (And then buy your own RAM/disk/etc, the price of which was included in my estimate.) The real killer of the 5k iMac is having the card directly wired to the display, something almost unheard of in the PC world. Sure, it limits repairability, but the performance it gives is remarkable. If you need it. There's also something to be said for their looks.

The lower-end MacBooks are borderline theft in terms of pricing.

The real reason I bought my MacBook Pro was because I knew the hardware was 100% Intel, which at the time all the drivers for were 100% open source. (There's now a binary blob in Intel's graphics drivers....) I do keep a Gentoo install on a third partition, but only for maintenance purposes. (I don't even have X.org configured.) Going forward I'm not sure if I'd buy another MacBookPro, even with the ecosystem buy-in. (A MacMini or a small MacBookAir would let me do all the photo-editing things I need.) Things like the Purism Librem are looking very enticing. 

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Geschosskopf    4260

Hehehe, "in my day, sonny, a Kerbal could do anything."  Geez, I miss those days.  I have never been a fan of the class system, don't think it can be made to work well, and believe all attempts to make it work in the face of its obvious problems are doing more harm than good.  Too bad Thomlock couldn't remain a Renaissancekerb when he came back.

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waterlubber    362
21 hours ago, Cydonian Monk said:

The Very-High-End ones are expensive, but price-wise they're generally competitive with their non-Apple equivalents. I remember spec-ing out a PC with a 5k display and other equivalent components to one of the Retina iMacs and found the Apple one was cheaper than building on your own if you stuck with the lowest-end options of the parts that are user-upgradeable. (And then buy your own RAM/disk/etc, the price of which was included in my estimate.) The real killer of the 5k iMac is having the card directly wired to the display, something almost unheard of in the PC world. Sure, it limits repairability, but the performance it gives is remarkable. If you need it. There's also something to be said for their looks.

The lower-end MacBooks are borderline theft in terms of pricing.

The real reason I bought my MacBook Pro was because I knew the hardware was 100% Intel, which at the time all the drivers for were 100% open source. (There's now a binary blob in Intel's graphics drivers....) I do keep a Gentoo install on a third partition, but only for maintenance purposes. (I don't even have X.org configured.) Going forward I'm not sure if I'd buy another MacBookPro, even with the ecosystem buy-in. (A MacMini or a small MacBookAir would let me do all the photo-editing things I need.) Things like the Purism Librem are looking very enticing. 

I've always been an AMD person myself, but if Zen drops and fails then I'll be forced to switch to Intel.
I have the fourth best AMD CPU out there (heavily overclocked FX4300, only better ones are 6300, 8300, 9350) and it's still equivalent to an i3. It was still cheaper, though!

 

As for drivers, the AMD binaries are pretty decent once you get them installed, and the FOSS ones are actually okay.

Edited by waterlubber

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Cydonian Monk    3535

Fixing Kelgee

[This docking port bug is weird voodoo. After quite a bit of digging around and a thorough read-through of the affected parts of Kelgee Station, I officially gave up on fixing it. Instead I undocked the Science Module and experiment pod, undocked Gerty the Space Robot from it, launched an identical version in a different save, then copied over the parts into the now free floating Science Module. The kerbals won't notice anything different, but once the whole shebang was docked back up, the experiment pod cleanly undocked from the station and was moved to a new port, freeing up a much-needed access point on the ventral side of the station.

A quick diff also showed no functional differences between the two, but the new one works. Weird.

20160101_ksp0119_kelgee.jpg

20160101_ksp0118_kelgee.jpg

In other news, whatever it is that gets upset when a vessel has more than 255 parts is still throwing a small fit, as seen above. This was much more serious of an issue two years ago when I was first building Kelgee, as one of the plugins (Remote Tech 2) would stop when it got to 255 parts, possibly because the core game was throwing an error, leading to a universe-rending cascade. This led me to install KAS and send a kerbal around to remove a bunch of detail parts from the station, such as Aviation Light beacons, flags, etc., and eventually to uninstall Remote Tech 2 (which hadn't been updated for some months by that point, and was only later turned over to new devs).

Now, two years later, the 255-limit is just a casual warning in the log file and otherwise business as usual.]

--


Walking on Thin Nitrogen

With Kelgee up and running again, there was need for an Engineer on the station to oversee further reconfiguration. With Sieta still in a psych ward, Verly still at Baile Speir, and Macfred having just returned from The Spice Moon, the agency had need of a new Engineer. So they recruited two, and picked up three "pilots" to fill out the Astronaut Corp's bunks. Of these new recruits, known as the "Aluminum Five" (for reasons that will become clear later), Rondous was chosen for the new Nitrogen Adapter mission.

Also, after considerable construction delays and screw-ups by the intern corps, the Nitrogen launch facility now featured a new on-pad launch gantry for use by the astrokerbs. No longer would they need to be strapped into the rocket before it was rolled out to the launch pad - now they could wait until the last minute. Last second, even.

And so Rondous became the first kerbal to ever walk to his spacecraft.

20160101_ksp0123_n-a5.jpg

And then, in an incident that still has yet to be explained, the Nitrogen A-5 clipped the launch tower on ascent. The launch tower that was definitely clear of the vehicle. The flight software was unable to correct for the issue (how would it?), the craft veered more than the allowed percentage from the track, and so the automatic launch escape system engaged and pulled Rondous to safety.

The bulk of the vehicle fell clear of the launchpad, so the facility only endured a minimal amount of damage. The launch tower was torn to shreds, of course, as was the reputation of the company that provided it. [This was the latest in a series of issues I've had with the FASA launch towers and gantries. No clue what's wrong, but they continue to just not work in multiple different ways. The crew elevator's gantry was more than sufficiently retracted, yet the game acted like its hitbox was still there. Probably has something to do with the fairing. There was another standard launch tower opposite the crew tower that just disappeared.... Which was a blessing in disguise as they no longer work through staging.]

20160101_ksp0130_n-a5.jpg

20160101_ksp0134_n-a5.jpg

And so Rondous became the last kerbal to walk to his spacecraft on the launchpad.

--


Nitrogen, Take 6

20160101_ksp0145_n-a6.jpg

20160101_ksp0154_n-a6.jpg

Mardi was up next in the Nitrogen A-6, which successfully cleared the launchpad, had a clean ascent into orbit, and rendezvoused with Kelgee Station some time later. Another Engineer from the "Aluminum Five", Mardi had a busy few days ahead of her. 

First up was the reconfiguration of the station's power system. The offset reaction wheels at the top of the station were causing more trouble than they were worth, yet due to their design they could be rotated and placed inline with the main "spine" of the station. This would help tremendously with stability. Doing this though, would require rotating the solar arrays by 90 degrees.

(The axis along with the large reaction wheels were installed was at one time the main axis of the station.... It expanded beyond that many years ago.)

Mardi wasted no time in getting to work.

20160101_ksp0164_kelgee.jpg

20160101_ksp0169_kelgee.jpg

The new arrangement meant the inner-most set of solar arrays would need to stay closed to avoid clipping the core of the station, but the instability issues and the flexing from simple rotations was gone. The ground operators had considered moving the two habitation modules from the upper hab down to the lower, but ultimately decided against it.

20160101_ksp0172_kelgee.jpg

--


More Fluorine for Better Teeth

With the basic reconfiguration done up at Kelgee, the next step was to send up the atmosphere processor, the water scrubber, and the "emergency hab" the crew could evacuate to should the bulk of the station not be able to support an atmosphere. 

The Fluorine 2 launch went exactly according to plan. Another routine launch, another nearly perfect ascent. 

20160101_ksp0177_f-2.jpg

Otherwise identical to the Fluorine 1, the F-2 corrected for the "backwards" installation of the payload. Mardi picked it up remotely once it was within range of the station and installed it on the nadir/ventral node, directly opposite the Laboratory module.

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With the water purifier and the carbon extractor running, the station rehabilitation could move on to its most important step: restoring an atmosphere to the bulk of Kelgee Station.

--


Oxygen, Perfected

The Oxygen 2 launch saw the first use of a new launch tower. Having discarded both FASA-built towers for reasons of non-workingness and phantom-hitboxingness, the designers in the VAB decided to borrow a design from the Eric Johnson Space Administration. This new launch tower was tall enough to support the largest of the combinations for the LV-04 Sonata rocket, and featured "Just in Time" retractable feed arms for the fuel and oxidizer lines. (The boosters are still filled by magic.)

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Not only was the launch perfect, but the launch timing was as well. For the first time in a long time, the rendezvous occurred immediately after launch. This direct-ascent approach resulted in an initial close-approach of 1.2km, which was later brought down to 900m through flight adjustments. 

20160101_ksp0223_o2.jpg

The launch software was scheduled to place the craft into a 130km by 122km orbit, so it was aborted prior to the rendezvous and replaced with a periapsis increasing routine to circularize at 130km. (Which was knocked down to 129,816km by the software as that was the current periapsis.) This brought the close-approach down to 400 meters, a distance easily covered by the O2's cold gas thrusters.

20160101_ksp0225_o2.jpg

This rendezvous unfortunately occurred in the middle of an eclipse, meaning the clock was running for the Oxygen 2 to reach safe remote operation distance and shut down its kOS computer (the single largest power-drain onboard). Mardi took over and directed it to the nadir adapter port installed some time back by Sieta, though the operation was a bit difficult thanks to the eclipse messing with the O2's docking camera.

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Mardi proved to be the true boss of the remote operation corps, and had the O2 docked in no time at all. 

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Once the docking maneuver was complete she quickly bounced through the Science Module and to the docking adapter. She was anxious to start the slow process of pumping up the rest of the station to its half-atmosphere design limits, mainly so she could explore the rest of the station without a pressure suit. 

Plans were already being made on the ground for the first science team. 

 

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Edited by Cydonian Monk

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Kuzzter    14537

Outstanding update! I feel ya on all those random docking port issues, that's my number one reason for having to mess with a persistence file. The towers look really, really great--should be stock! But yeah I think I'm not going to mess with those either, I have enough problems :) 

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Geschosskopf    4260
2 hours ago, Cydonian Monk said:

Now, two years later, the 255-limit is just a casual warning in the log file and otherwise business as usual.]

--------------------

And then, in an incident that still has yet to be explained, the Nitrogen A-5 clipped the launch tower on ascent. The launch tower that was definitely clear of the vehicle. The flight software was unable to correct for the issue (how would it?), the craft veered more than the allowed percentage from the track, and so the automatic launch escape system engaged and pulled Rondous to safety.

And so Rondous became the last kerbal to walk to his spacecraft on the launchpad.

--------------------------

Mardi was up next in the Nitrogen A-6, which successfully cleared the launchpad, had a clean ascent into orbit, and rendezvoused with Kelgee Station some time later. Another Engineer from the "Aluminum Five", Mardi had a busy few days ahead of her. 

(1st part):  That's nice to know.  It's a pain when your payload needs about 1/2 that many parts just to do its own job, let alone be docked to several other payloads that might need an equal number of parts to do their own separate jobs.  This consideration recently made me decide to build a 5m SSTO rocket for a 160-ton mission payload out of 29 parts including adaptors, Septratrons, Vernors. ,amd tail feathers.

(2nd part)  Ya know, there's a reason that none of us old farts whine that the original KSC launch tower disappeared way back in 0.20 or thereabouts, and that today's noobs don't complain about the lack thereof :D

(3rd part)  Mardi,,,, Is her last (or middle) name "Gras" by any chance?  Either way, you should call her "Girl Tuesday" :D

 

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Sylandro    111

Aw, dude, i didn't know that you watched EJ_SA! I really like that launch gantry. But i think it might be quite expensive, recover the boosters!

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Cydonian Monk    3535
5 hours ago, Kuzzter said:

Outstanding update! I feel ya on all those random docking port issues, that's my number one reason for having to mess with a persistence file. 

I learned to avoid multi-docking the hard way.... It "works", but the undocked/seeking-dock ports just sit there eating up clock cycles and frames.

 

3 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

(2nd part)  Ya know, there's a reason that none of us old farts whine that the original KSC launch tower disappeared way back in 0.20 or thereabouts, and that today's noobs don't complain about the lack thereof :D

Yep. I never had many problems with them... on the ground. More often than not I'd hit the launch tower somewhere in orbit due to a glitch. I never built very wide craft back in the early versions of KSP that included it though. (Was it just 0.19 for me? I think?)

 

2 hours ago, Sylandro said:

Aw, dude, i didn't know that you watched EJ_SA! I really like that launch gantry. But i think it might be quite expensive, recover the boosters!

It actually wasn't that expensive, and the parts seem to survive launch, so they can be recovered. (Mostly.) As for EJ, I've been watching off and on pretty much since he started streaming, I just don't say much in the chat. I usually watch Twitch by streaming it to the TV from one of my iOS devices, so engaging in chat is... cumbersome.

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Geschosskopf    4260
22 minutes ago, Cydonian Monk said:

Yep. I never had many problems with them... on the ground. More often than not I'd hit the launch tower somewhere in orbit due to a glitch. I never built very wide craft back in the early versions of KSP that included it though. (Was it just 0.19 for me? I think?)

The old launch tower was a victim of its time.  Originally, it wasn't a problem because there was nowhere to go but Mun and that didn't need anything too wide.  But then other planets coalesceed out of the void and we still only had a few 2.5m parts and still needed 4500m/s to reach LKO, and in the old soup-o-sphere going wide was the best answer, at which point the tower was in the way.  So it disappeared.

Now it only takes 3200-3400m/s to reach LKO and we have 3.75m stock parts, and the air is different so wide rockets suck.  HOWEVER, for some of the stuff I do, the tower would still be in the way if it was a fixed structure.  So I still spit on its grave and hope it stays buried.  If I want a tower, I can get a mod for that.  As long as the roots are not severed, all is well, and all will be well in the garden.

Edited by Geschosskopf

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